Six-time All-Star Blake Griffin officially retires from NBA

Blake Griffin, Channing Frye
Blake Griffin, Channing Frye

There's a younger generation of NBA fans, those who maybe only saw him play in Detroit or that final season in Boston, who do not understand what an absolute force of nature Blake Griffin was. From the moment he entered the league through his peak, Giffin was a nightly highlight package unto himself.

Tuesday, Griffin — who was out of the NBA this season — officially retired.

Griffin's resume is impressive: No. 1 overall pick, five-time All-NBA, six-time All-Star and the 2011 Rookie of the Year. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest jumping over a car. It's a career that at least merits discussion of whether it's Hall of Fame worthy.

Griffin is also the most important Clipper ever, the first domino in changing the franchise from a laughing stock to a franchise that has been to the playoffs 11 of the past 13 years, with a string of five straight 50+ win seasons while Griffin was there. When the Clippers drafted Griffin, this team had been to the playoffs four times in the 31 seasons since they moved to Los Angeles and Donald Sterling's ownership was at the heart of the embarrassment. Griffin's arrival, with his potential and work ethic, made then coach Mike Dunleavy impress upon the organization it was time to get serious — about the players they brought in around Griffin, around the culture of the organization, and how they played on the court. Griffin's arrival started to change things in basketball operations — within a few years the Clippers were everyone's second-favorite team to watch because Lob City was so entertaining.

There were bigger factors changing the Clippers — Donald Sterling being forced out and Steve Ballmer stepping — and there have been better players, though not many. However, it was Griffin's arrival and presence, what he brought to the game and locker room, that started to force change in that organization. He will forever be one of the greatest Clippers, even if they sent him out the door to Detroit in an abrupt, harsh way.

And you should go watch some more of his highlights on YouTube.